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Build 12644, Yummm…

July 30, 2010

New build! New build! Mwhahahahah! Let’s look at it from the totally objective and balanced(*) view of the admittedly Marksman Hunter/Protection Warrior Dwarven Pinball! Get your popcorn, ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a play-by-play commentary on the relevant changes!

(* Totally not objective and balanced. But at least he’s fair.)

* * * * *
M A R K S M A N S H I P . H U N T E R

* * * * *

Cobra Shot now generates 9 focus. Up from 1 focus.
Steady Shot now generates 9 Focus. (Tooltip fix)

Okay, cool. Fixed tooltips is a nice little quality of life change.

Mend Pet no longer costs Focus.
Concussive Shot no longer costs Focus. Now has a 5 sec cooldown.

Huzzah! Thank you very much, Blizzard! Utility, non-damaging skills don’t need a Focus Cost. Spamming Mend Pet isn’t going to help us in any way, and having a cost on Concussive Shot is a really good way to leave us out of Focus very quickly as it’s hard to do Steady Shot against stuff that’s running towards you (Concussive Shot or not).

Arcane Shot now costs 25 focus, down from 50 focus. Additional damage halved, AP scaling remains the same.
now only reduces the cost of your Arcane Shot by 1/2/3 (Down from 2/4/6). Reduction on Explosive Shot  and Chimera Shot remains unchanged.
Serpent Sting now costs 25 Focus. Down from 45.

Now this is big!

A smaller cost on Arcane Shot and Serpent Sting is really going to unclog our rotation. We’ll finally be able to smoothly save up some Focus without having to juggle even more Steadies: if we ever need to hold a bit so we can fire something like Tranquilizing Shot (which still has a cost…) or reposition, we can reduce the volume of Arcane Shots being fired instead of having to Steady/Cobra shot even more. I think it’s a very positive thing.

It might not sound like much, but one of the problems with Focus is that it’s not really divisible. In the previous builds, you fired two/three shots, and you were done until you started Steady/Cobra Shooting again. Now, you can give it four/five shots. The final damage is most likely be the same (and at this point, damage doesn’t matter), but at least it will give you more use for your Global Cooldowns. Or at least the feeling you have something to do while moving.

Also, Arcane Shot will probably end up being the shot of choice for kiting. Aspect of the Fox doesn’t give you a whole lot of Focus, but it’s going line up with the new Arcane Shot very conveniently. Considering pretty much every Hunter out there will have Efficiency and One With Nature, our wait time for Arcane Shot while on Fox is going to be short. Probably short enough to make kiting viable. Slapping a Serpent Sting on the kited enemy or an add is going to be possible now, and that should reduce our ramp-up considerably. I like this.

Careful Aim – Increases the critical strike chance of your Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Aimed Shot by 20/60% on targets at or above 60% health.
Resistance is Futile now gives you a chance that your next Kill Command will refund its focus cost. (Old – Gives a chance to critically hit)

Mhm. That’s interesting. They managed to make both Resistance is Futile and Careful Aim useful to endgame Hunters.

I think Careful Aim is currently bugged, as it jumps from 20% at Rank 1 to 60% at Rank 2. Either way it should be a sizable (dare I say massive?) boost to damage on the early parts of any Boss Fight. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the theorycrafters out there eventually reached the conclusion that it’s more DPS to Steady/Cobra Shot your way to 60% of the Boss health before using your Instant Shots. With Master Marksman still proccing Aimed Shots, that would make Steady spam even more valuable for Marksmanship Hunters.

As for Resistance is Futile… it’s free damage! Having it refund Focus instead of reducing cost to 0 simply makes it so you can’t just cast Kill Command at 0 Focus. Another proc for Marksmanship to watch out for, but I’m actually happy they managed to make Kill Command reasonably desirable for MM hunters.

* * * * *
P R O T E C T I O N . W A R R I O R

* * * * *

Thunder Clap damage has been increased by ~25%
now deals [ 75% of AP ] damage. (Up from 38% of AP)
Damage Shield
now deals 10/20% of your attack power. (Old – 20/40% of your Strength)
Improved Revenge
is now a Tier 2 talent. Down from Tier 3.

Alright, better AoE options. That’s great, I like that.

I still wish Shockwave silenced and applied a 50% less damage debuff instead of stunned. Charging into a pack of mobs and Shockwaving… tends to leave you out of rage for the next 4 seconds. What’s the point of giving us a trash tanking ability that makes us not take damage for 4 seconds, if we need to take damage to build up threat?

Victory Rush no longer has a stance requirement. (Be careful with that one, tooltip bugs happened with warrior stances)
Blood Craze
is now a Tier 1 talent. Down from Tier 2.

I’m a sucker for Self-Healing on my Warrior, so you can bet I’m enjoying this. With Impending Victory down the Protection tree allowing us to use Victory Rush on a low-health target as we Shield Slam (and we Shield Slam at lot!), things should be pretty interesting for us. On the other hand, that’s yet another button to press on a rotation that hasn’t changed from Live. We might need to start choosing between healing and threat, and that’s not a bad thing.

Rude Interruption (Tier 2) *New* – Successfully interrupting a spell with Shield Bash or Pummel increases your damage by 5% for 30 sec/1 min.

Um. That’s a silly name, isn’t it? Either way, I interrupt stuff all over the place, so it should be a nice threat boost for us.

Armored to the Teeth is gone.

I’ll give it is own section…

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, ya miserable waste of three talent points!

Shield Block now has a 1 min cooldown. Up from 30 sec.
Critical Block
*New* – Increases your chance to block by 10% and your chance to critically block by 10%. Chances increased further by mastery rating.

Ah, well… no more using Shield Block at will… it was fun, having full rage all the time due to Shield Specialization. And there we go, we got our Mastery bonus back. Critical Block sounds fine, and it’ll probably be one of those balancing knobs Blizzard will tweak every patch if Warriors end up being too survivable. I doubt it, but a man can dream of being too survivable. 😛

Warbringer now is a Tier 5 talent. Down from Tier 6.
additional damage has been increased by 66%.
no longer affects Thunder Clap or Cleave. Additional effect – your Heroic Strike critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to make you next Heroic Strike also a critical strike. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

Earlier Warbringer, good!

Devastate got rebalanced. Makes sense, since we can only put three Sunder Armor stacks on the target, as opposed to five on Live. I still think it’s a fairly wimpy attack, specially while soloing, but we can’t really expect anything more from what’s essentially our Filler/Sword-and-Board-Proccing strike.

The change to Incite really reflects the change in design for Prot Warriors. We’re not required to pick up Deep Wounds anymore and, with Impale moving out of our reach, we don’t have all that much incentive for it either. We already have Blood And Thunder and Thunderstruck (as soon as it’s fixed and the visual effect toned way down) to make up for it in AoE situations, so increased critical strike chance on our two Spam As Soon As Able AoE attacks isn’t really that useful. On the other hand, Cleave still hits like a wet noodle. Which is sad, because I really like the noise it makes when it paints the mobs’ world green.

Back-to-back Heroic Strike critical hits should also do wonders to our burst threat. We don’t really need it, but it’s nice anyway. DPS Warriors are probably going to enjoy this, too.

* * * * *

All in all, I like this build. We’re steadily moving towards a more natural Hunter experience, and Warrior Tanking is getting more polished. I think I’m going to give my characters a whirl through the new dungeons on the Beta and see how it goes from there.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    August 2, 2010 10:38

    …XD All I could ever want to know about playing a warrior! ..Now if only I’d play one!

  2. Makabari permalink
    August 4, 2010 00:02

    Hmmm, liking the Hunter changes! Maybe my earlier pessimism about the Hunter changes was misplaced. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Prot Warriors and Paladins seem to be becoming more similar by the day, with Warriors getting a new AOE Consecrate clone in Cata and now self-healing as well. They are looking almost OP…

    • August 4, 2010 02:48

      Eh, that’s not really a very fair comparison there. I mean:

      Death Knights are now going to be full-on self-heal tanks.

      Druids are going to be regenerating at least 1% of their Health every second due to Leader of the Pack as long as they are hitting something.

      Paladins are going to have Word of Glory, plus they keep those two cute little things called Judgment of Light and Lay on Hands, so their self-healing abilities are still way better than a Warrior’s.

      A Warrior will get about 0.6% of their Health back every second from Blood Craze plus Field Dressing, assuming it’s up 100% of the time in a boss fight (and I don’t know how likely to happen that is). The Victory Rush change only affects targets below 20% Health with 5% health every 6 seconds at least (Shield Slam, Victory Rush, Revenge/Devastate Proccing Sword and Board, Shield Slam, Victory Rush), which is already burn phase for most bosses and shouldn’t last too long.

      In an environment where Healer mana is going to be so important, every last bit of self-healing helps. Also, those changes (with Blood Craze and Victory Rush being actually -useful- at long last) would smooth out Prot Warrior leveling a lot. Being the only tank without a good solo “lemme top myself up quickly” spell and losing a big chunk of our damage in the transition to Cataclysm, being more survivable while alone against multiple mobs (the only way to quest/grind as a tank) is only fair.

      As for Thunderstruck being a Consecrate Clone… I don’t like it, and I don’t think Blizzard is too happy with it either. Actually, I really enjoy the fact that we actually have to choose to be good AoE tanks or Single-Target tanks, but fully expect Blizz to remove or redesign Thunderstruck soon. As it is it’s clunky, having stationary elements to your tanking when you’re a Warrior zipping all over the place is just awkward.

      I’m voting for Thunderstruck giving Warriors a lightning aura that applies like 10% of the threat the Warrior generates to all enemies within 15 range for 6 seconds. That way you could activate it, rush to a new pack of mobs, Shield Slam the first enemy and have the entire group’s attention long enough for your Thunderclap to come off cooldown and consolidate it.

      Or who knows, maybe it could give our Taunt an AoE lightning effect that does little damage but looks awesome? That way we can say our screams pierce the skies and bring down the Electric Wrath of the Gods of Metal upon our enemies!

      Wooo, rock on! \../. >_< .\../

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